With the new platform CourseSmart Analytics, professors are able to see the students’ level of engagement - how much of digital texts students have read, whether they highlight passages or took notes and how much time they spent on their readings.A beta version of CourseSmart is being tested at several universities during the spring semester serving about 4,000 students, and officials hope to roll it out fully by the fall, said spokeswoman Cindy Clark. The goal is to move away from traditional textbooks and methods and help give faculty an insight into their students’ behaviors, she said.
The Power of Democratic Process in Schools: Jerry Mintz at TEDxYouth@BFS (by TEDxYouth)
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Special education is much better understood now than it was several decades ago. Previously a term for the learning allotted to students who may have been outcast or looked down upon, “special ed” now describes a highly customized—and highly lucrative—education plan for children with a variety of disabilities. The government grants a slightly bigger budget to schools with programs, facilities, and infrastructure dedicated to educating persons with disabilities (PWDs). Ironically, special ed allows PWDs to participate in school and everyday society without any “special” treatment, save for the measures implemented for their mobility and safety.
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While schools encourage the notion that having a disability does not limit a person, PWD students have admittedly not been able to participate in all activities open to the rest of the student body. One major aspect of student life most PWD students have been left out of is sports, not because of their disability but because of the lack of athletic activities available to students with disabilities. For example, most schools and colleges will have wheelchair accessible ramps and rooms, but only few will offer wheelchair basketball or similar sports programs.
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When educational policies were discussed last January, a clarification was made on this matter. In an official statement, the Department of Education confirmed that the law requires all schools to provide equal access to athletic extracurricular activities for students with disabilities. This may send some schools to re-arrange their sports programs, but most are already a step ahead.
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In recent weeks, a high school made headlines when a basketball player gave the ball to a member of the opposing team and allowed him to score. The latter had a disability. Instances like these show that students with disabilities would not only benefit from joining athletic activities, they would, in fact, fit right in.
The computing industry is on a roll—or has been for the last couple of years. In just a few decades, computers have transformed from luxury to almost a necessity, and they have come to influence a very large portion of daily living—from producing food and conducting business, to expressing aesthetics and communicating with others. With the demand for sophisticated software and other computing-based solutions and applications projected to increase in the following the years, experts hope to solve the anticipated deficit in computer specialists by introducing computing language to K-12 students.
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The project is helmed by CODE.org, a nonprofit organization created to help bring computing language to classrooms all over the country. Its testimonial page is populated by prominent figures, like Mark Zuckerberg, Arne Duncan, Marco Rubio, Stephen Hawking, Snoop Dogg, and Michael Bloomberg.
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CODE.org stated that the demand for computer programmers and scientists will soon overtake the population of computing specialists in the 21st century. As a matter of fact, it is expected that by 2020, there will be around a million more jobs available than there are computer science students. Unfortunately, 90 percent of schools in the country do not offer coding.
Last February 26, CODE.org released a video featuring many prominent tech leaders and famous personalities. The video depicted coding as a fun activity, which can lead to a fruitful and creative career. It also dispelled common beliefs that coding is complicated and difficult.
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There is little doubt that the computing industry will become even bigger than it is today. By equipping young students with the capability to take full advantage of the expected boom in computing-based careers, they are better assured of a bright future.
Frank Biden is all for better education for the youth. Visit this Twitter page to learn more about his advocacies.
"While we try to make change", Sulkhan Chargeishvili at TEDxYouth@Tbilisi (by TEDxYouth)
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Technology has transformed the way people live and the rules by which society functions. As such, it has become necessary for individuals to learn the various aspects of technology, and the responsibilities that come with its use from an early age. Inevitably, the task of imparting this knowledge falls on schools and the individuals who compose the education system. But for teachers to perform this function as properly as needed, they must have adequate know-how in the use of modern technology.
The youth is readily exposed to many of today’s technological wonders due largely to the latter’s easy availability. A 2012 study conducted by Flurry Analytics found that young people between the ages 13 and 17 composed 18 percent and 19 percent of the market for smartphones and tablets respectively, showing that young people are indeed active users of hi-tech devices.
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Consequently, teachers must keep up with a technologically advanced environment in order to stay on the same ground with their students, and to reap the many benefits of going hi-tech. For one, they can expand their reach and improve their teaching capabilities. The fast relay of data may also be utilized for various purposes, including research and creating comprehensive education modules.
More importantly, teachers can do more than just act as user manual extensions—they can educate their students on the responsibilities of being users of technology. As teachers, they are in the position to teach their students the rights and the wrongs, and how they can use their knowledge to equip themselves for future success.
Technology will undoubtedly continue to advance, and the youth will always have access to it. For this reason, teachers must be learned in the ways of technology, so that they will be a more effective in teaching their students than before.
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Frank Biden is a staunch supporter of the movement for better education. This Facebook page contains links with more information about his works and advocacies.